Saturday December 14, 2019

Baby Gene Experiment Foolish and Dangerous: Experts

Professor He Jiankui shocked the world when he genetically altered the twins

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IVF method
Terming it a unique case, doctors said delivering a baby by cancer patients post chemotherapy gets tougher with the age. Pixabay

The first people to be gene-edited — a pair of baby twin girls — may have been mutated in a way that shortens life expectancy, research suggests.

Professor He Jiankui shocked the world when he genetically altered the twins to try to give them protection against HIV, the BBC reported.

However, now a study in Nature Medicine shows people who naturally have the mutation — he was trying to recreate — were significantly more likely to die young.

Experts said Prof He’s actions were “very dangerous” and “foolish”.

Baby, Gene, Experiment, Foolish
The first people to be gene-edited a pair of baby twin girls may have been mutated in a way that shortens life expectancy.Pixabay

Prof He was targeting a gene called CCR5. It is a set of genetic instructions that are important for how the immune system functions. They are also the doorway that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) walks through to infect cells.

Mutations to CCR5 essentially lock the door and give people resistance to HIV. So, Prof He made embryos in an IVF clinic and then used gene-editing technologies on the twins to alter the CCR5 gene.

Resulting in girls — named Lulu and Nana — who were born last year.

The problem is CCR5 has a bigger role in the body than just making people vulnerable to HIV. It is active in the brain and in fighting off other infections, particularly flu.

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The study, at the University of California, Berkeley, looked at nearly 410,000 people in the UK, among them those who had only the mutated version of CCR5 were 20 per cent more likely to die before they turned 78. (IANS)

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Here’s the Right Way To Choose Detergent for Baby Clothes

Here's how to choose right laundry wash for babies

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Detergent
Using the wrong detergent can lead to babies experiencing skin-related issues. Pixabay

One common dilemma that most parents face is how to ensure that the detergent they use is tough on stains and odour of soiled baby clothes piling up every hour and gentle on their baby’s skin.

Health experts suggest that as a baby’s skin is not the same as an adult’s, using the same detergent can lead to babies experiencing skin-related issues. While the residual substance left behind during laundry might not impact adults, the same can affect a baby’s sensitive skin.

“Choosing a laundry wash that has natural ingredients like neem, soapnut, lemon and geranium can be safe on babies’ skin,” Dr. Subhashini N.S., Discovery Sciences Group, R&D, The Himalaya Drug Company, said in a statement.

detergent for baby clothes
Choosing a detergent that has natural ingredients like neem, soapnut, lemon and geranium can be safe on babies’ skin. Pixabay

“These ingredients are known for their antimicrobial properties and are gentle on babies’ clothes. Soapnut further helps clean the fabric and remove stains effectively,” she said.

The detergent that we choose for baby laundry needs to be gentle and help maintain the softness of the fabric. A fresh and mild fragrance post wash would be welcome, without any detergent residue, according to the experts.

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“An important aspect is to ensure that the baby laundry wash is free from harsh chemicals like phosphorous, parabens, synthetic colour, SLS/SLES/ALS (sodium lauryl sulfate/sodium laureth sulfate/ammonium lauryl sulfate), added bleach, silicates, and fluorescent. It’s better to opt for a laundry wash that is clinically tested, gentle on baby’s skin, and does not leave behind any residue,” Subhashini said.

Harsh chemicals can affect a baby’s skin, leading to allergies and rashes. If you notice any signs of irritation, rashes, or allergy on your baby’s skin, do consult a medical professional immediately, she advised. (IANS)